Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Setting Realistic, Obtainable and Healthy Transition Goals

As with any major life change the decision to transition has to be done with at least a few laid out goals in mind. It is hard to say "set a target and strive for it" because we all change. Our priorities change. What was 100% necessary at the outset of transition may seem trival a few years in... It is important to keep the things in mind. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have some goals in mind. Targets are great because they give us something to aim for. If that target changes or priorities change than so be it, but aimlessly trying to accomplish a complex undertaking is all the more difficult if we do not have some idea of what we want to accomplish.

While I wrote this from the male to female perceptive, I think the information is just as valid for female to male transsexuals as well. We all want a lot out of our transitions and we tend to want these things yesterday! This is why I think it is a good idea to sit back and really think for a moment. I would suggest you at least consider these few questions before even considering what you need to do first:
  • What are you trying to do?
  • What do you want? 
  • What do you need to do to get there?
  • What will you do after you get there?
Now the knee jerk answer to these questions is simple... What am I trying to do? Transition duh! But it isn't so simple. There are all kinds of parts to transition. There is physical changes that you may want (HRT, surgery) as well as emotional changes and social dynamics in play. Coming out can be just as difficult (if not more so) than the actual physical transformation.


There are a number of books out there on transitioning. When I first came out I read My Husband Betty and found it really helpful. Since then a number of books on transgender identities, transitioning, and issues have come out!

Put Your Transition into Perceptive

After you know what you want, the next thing I did was write it down everything I thought i needed to do to get there. You may need to do some research to find your options but this is an important step. One big thing this can help with is it can help you put everything into perceptive.

Transition is a monumental task that is both financially and emotionally expensive. It is best to know exactly what you need to do, when you want (and when you actually can) do it, and have a realistic plan to make it happen. Take everything you list and make a timeline.

When you write the timeline out realize your goals will take time (years) to achieve. For starters figure on the following:
  • 6 months of therapy before getting a letter to go to a doctor for hormones
  • A year or so living full time to be considered for surgery
  • Another 6 to 12 month wait once you are cleared to actually have the surgery
While this seems daunting and disheartening I think it is important to realize that you will need time to adjust to living your life in a very different way. Transitioning isn't as easy as changing your clothes. Everyone will treat you differently (and I don't mean in a discriminatory way). The reality is men and women in our society fill very different roles and it takes time (and you should take your time here) to get comfortable living in that role.

Take Your Time

Remember, this (the physical aspect of transitioning) is not a race. Please excuse the cliche, but the object here is not to go from being a woman / man stuck in the wrong body, to a woman / man stuck in a strange body that still doesn't make sense. This can be an terrible reality for some who go too fast. It can also be emotionally disastrous! The reality is moving to fast can cause even deeper despair and lead to deeper depression or worse. I've seen this happen!

I think we all agree that the purpose of transitioning is is to become happier with who you are on the inside as well as the outside. The only way to do this is to give yourself time to grow into the person you are becoming. Take your time and you will no only begin to see yourself as the person truly are but you will be much happier with your life overall.

Look at Things Realistically

Being realistic does not mean the same as accepting one's fate and giving up. Just know that things take time and transitioning is a process. Nothing happens over night. The effects of HRT take time, surgery take planning and money.

Realize also that many people have health or economic limits placed on them and simply will never be able to have surgery. Does this mean you can't be happy? Absolutely not!!!! I know trans women who cannot even take hormones let alone have surgery and they are living their lives just like the rest of us. We say over and over that we are not defined by what is between our legs and it is true. Post surgery I am not different on the inside than I was before. I had surgery because I felt it was right for me, not because I needed validation for who I was.

Lastly, realize that there is more to life than transition. We tend to get so caught up in transition and forget to live our lives. You will need to factor this into your transition plan as well.

I hope I have offered so good advice here. I am not perfect and I have had my fair share of bumps. Good luck and stay strong.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How To Tuck Your Penis

Ok... tucking sucks but the truth is if you are pre or non opt and you want to pass you are going to have to do something to hide your penis. Most women's clothing, even loose fitting clothes to some extent are not designed with extra room in the crotch so hopefully these tips will help make it both more comfortable and less noticeable.

1. Shave

You can tuck without using tape (tight underwear or a gaf) but honestly it never seemed to work well for me. Within an hour or so things just shifted forward and there he was... So, if you are going to use tape (and I suggest you to) definitely shave first. This will help the tape stick better and will also help it come off more comfortably.

2. Know How to Find Your Inguinal Canal

Ever wonder where your testes go when you get cold? Well, they ascend into what is called the inguinal canal and this is where you are going to be tucking your testes. I found it best to lay flat on my back to do this. Gently press your each testicle up into your abdomen. This can be uncomfortable when you first start doing it but shouldn't be painful. If it is slow down and try again. Try taking a cold shower before hand to get things started.

3. Use Sports Tape

Now that the testes are pushed up into place we can tape the penis and scrotum back. I suggest sports tape which can be bought at the local drug store or online. It is designed to go on your skin so that means less irritation! You will need to touch things up so I would keep some in my purse, especially if you need to use the ladies room.

I found an video  that describes what to do so I will just post that below as it is a lot easier than trying to type it all out.

FTM Breast Binding

Breast binding is actually a fairly old practice where the person uses some type of material to flatten the breasts. Many trans men do this to achieve a more masculine body shape. I know there are a number of quality specialty chest binding garments designed to do just what we are talking about but some people may not be able to afford them. I have admittedly very little experience with breast binding... ok, no experience so I shall direct readers to a few very detailed guides I found elsewhere if they are interested in learning how to do this safely and effectively. One thing I will say is stay away from ace bandages and duct tape! These are not even close to being options!!!

Please feel free to offer your own advice in the comments.